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Understanding | Our Desire To Grow In Knowledge

I believe every human being has an inborn desire to understand. Take children for example. There was an age where my children started asking questions all the time. Questions about simple things that lead to profound dialogue. Because as you know the simple questions are often most profound. And require challenging answers.

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Hey guys, welcome to resolute. This is man talk. I'm your founder and host, Vince Miller, so excited to be with you again and

today we're in a series that we have entitled 30 virtues that build a man. Today's lesson is entitled understanding. I'm excited to have Steve, Steve Sadler with us today from Minnesota Teen Challenge. Thanks for being with us, man. Thank you. It's an honor to be here. What a great. So now Steve, I know you work with Minnesota Teen Challenge, but some people may not know what that is. Can you give us just a little overview on the work that you do? Yes, it's a faith-based drug and alcohol treatment center. We have many aspects to it. We have a outpatient treatment for people and we have a licensed treatment also a 30, 60, 90 days and then we have our longterm, a 13-month program, which is more discipleship based God on God. And you're an aftercare chaplain. Is that the right title? Yes, that is great. Yeah, so you're working with these guys all the time, so I would assume in working with guys coming out of a lifestyle that we're trying to change, that the topic of understanding is probably a daily challenge for these guys, right?

Because we're talking about a change of mindset and a sense of enlightenment and understanding or at least a renewed understanding that these guys are going to need on a daily basis and it really sounds like, to me that is, you're working with these guys, you're helping them to reframe a new understanding of how to do life. Am I right about that? You are completely right about that. And uh, without the understanding there is no application and so that really is it right there is to help them to understand this new life that they're stepping into. Yeah. And, and some of them need, it sounds like a 30 day application of that, some 60, some 90, some longterm ride. Every guy's a little different. Yeah, correct. End. The way I see it is it's a process. They might not get it all in one step, you know, so there's a process to it.

And they'll understand a little bit more along the way and what we're trying to do is prepare them so when they do finish, they understand enough to continue this walk. Yeah. And that's, that's what I love about Minnesota teen challenge has such an incredible success rate, right, of moving these guys from here to there. Right. Which here is the current state, there is a more godly state. Right? Correct. And uh, I love that you say it's a process because we don't just change our mindset like that. We don't just understand things new, just like that. It takes time over a long process. Everybody responds to the process a little differently, has maybe deeper lessons to. And some of them have lighter lessons to learn. Some of them have greater life challenges, right? To overcome greater damage that has been done. Everybody's a little different. So I assume that plays into the process of people understanding and a new way it does in a major way.

Yeah. So there's so, so much they'll begin to understand and the program. And one thing I like about my position as aftercare chaplain, once they're done, I can go out there and meet them where they're at and the things they don't quite understand yet, I couldn't walk them throughout here so that they can get an understanding of practical application in real life. Okay. So this is what I think is interesting about your role is this, is that we can learn one thing over here in the program, but we also have to learn it outside of the program, right? Correct. Why is that? Why do we have to learn it multiple times? Why do you think? Um, I think there's part of it, they'd be like a first Corinthians four talks about many teachers, not many fathers. There's some parts that are only by impartation and I believe, you know, we teach really well in there, but to be able to walk them through it out there as a game changer, then they understand it in the middle of the process.

Now you said there's the key phrase is, but we can, we in some cases we need to remove them from their life circumstances to reset. But to really understand that you're going to have to be back in their context now and see now this renewed mindset work in context, right? Correct. So for example, if I'm. If I'm going to mechanic school to learn to be a mechanic, I could learn a lot from being in a classroom, but then I'm going to actually have to do some things, right? I'm going to have to get my head under an engine. I'm going to have to crank on some things, take some things apart, put it back together so there's classroom education is necessary, but it's not the only thing that changes our understanding. It's the raw application of the classroom education inside of a living moving context where things change and adapt and we face new challenges and that's what you're doing with guys.

You're, you're setting down with them in their life context back where they were and they're able to process unique challenges and you're able to right size that learning for them at that moment. Exactly that. That was perfect what you just said, really. Okay. The education part and when we get so much of that, but that hands-on when you get under the hood and you actually begin to turn that wrench, you understand everything you were educated in at that moment. Yeah. You know, I. So some of the text today from, from our book 30 virtues that build a man, it's just this mentoring guide, and I know we're talking about teen challenge using some of these books, but, uh, I think it's interesting that Jesus is always teaching, teaching, teaching, teaching, and reteaching multiple times his 12 disciples, right? He's doing this all the time.

Uh, it Jesus here in John Eight verse 12. So this, and again Jesus spoke to them saying, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life. I think it's interesting that Jesus is teaching them a, using illustrations from life, from nature, from even from science or light, right, creation, to teach these guys how to have a renewed mindset and look at life differently. What's interesting about it is Jesus spent only about 22 months with these guys and he's training these 12 and he's doing teaching basically the same lessons over and over and over again isn't interesting. He's teaching them how to have faith, how to be obedient, how to teach the last, how to share the message with other people and it's just the same lessons over and over again and almost like he's beating them into their, into their heads so that they'll actually apply it.

I think one of the most famous for me is clearly the moment that Peter Walks on water, right? He teaches him that and he teaches them how to have faith in him, but that moment is followed by the greatest miracle that they ever experienced. The feeding of the 5,000. So they've learned a lesson of faith on the beach and then they get into the boat and they have to learn a lesson to faith again. And then Kinda like you aftercare chapel. Jesus Christ comes back from the dead. Peter's back fishing again in the water, right? And then he asked to apply the lesson again. Catch fish, feed my sheep, feed my sheep, feed my sheep, just like an aftercare chaplain, right? The teach the lesson again and again and again about faith. Trust me, trust me, trust me, trust me. Right? Multiple Times I kind of look at your job that way.

Is that ever exhausting to teach people the same lessons over and over and over again? Um, there are times that can be the greatest reward is when they catch it when you. But, so, and then the way I look at it as is just to stick with it, stick with it. Like Jesus taught many different ways. One of those ways they're gonna understand and then they're going to grab that. So, uh, yeah, that's, that's, it can be, it can be tough at times, but you know, if you stick with it. Yeah, yeah. That's good. I love that. I think that you're, you're getting to something here, Steve, that's very important and it's that the teaching people a new way of thinking and of understanding things has challenges that go with it. It's not a onetime teaching enlightenment. Understanding is a process. Kind of, like you said at the beginning, it's different stages and different lengths for everybody, but we as teachers have to be faithful to it and hope that one day after saying something to our son for 23 different times that on the 24th time he might. Yeah, catch it.

How can a man move from a negative to a positive view of life? Well, um, you know, I don't, you know, these guys out there thinking about, you know, how, how do we do this, you know, I, I'm hoping that guys will move from a negative view of life to a positive view of life. Kind of like you're asking about today. But I think the challenge is far greater than we think, uh, like, like here Jesus is using terms like enlightenment, light, darkness, and he's using this contrast. And I really believe that the one way that we can move from a dark understanding to an enlightened understanding is by putting ourselves in front of truth as much as possible. Right? I think the guys coming into your program, for example, whether they're an adult or a team, whether they're a man or a woman, have probably lived with a darkened understanding of life.

We call it darkened, but it's really a metaphor, right? It's a metaphor to describe a wrong way to look at life that is led to bad behaviors. I think what people need to do and guys in general need to do, is to place ourselves in front of as much truth as possible, the truth about us, the truth about the world, the truth about life, the truth about our unhealthy patterns or are good patterns. Right, and I believe that the way that we do that is by putting ourselves in front of the Bible and the Bible is the only real truth in life and it's the only thing that's really objective and I believe in this life and if we can put ourselves in front of the Bible and his truth as much as possible. That's why I think reading it on a daily basis is very effective.

Then, hey, things are going to change over time and it's not gonna. Be overnight for some of us were going to read the Bible wants and we're going to get it all in the first reading. That's not me and I don't think that's. Most guys are going to have to read it over and over and over again because guys need things repeated to them. I know I do. I know my son does. I know my kids. Do I know relationships in my life. I know you do, right? We don't learn things the first time, so we're going to have to keep subjecting ourselves to truth and we're going to have to seek out that truth in our life. And I think that's, that's a challenge for some people because some people, they don't like the truth. They do prefer the darkness. Jesus says that multiple times throughout the New Testament, um, in fact, Psalm 1:19 verse one, Oh, five says this, thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

One of the scriptures today from 30 virtues that build a man. I just think it's phenomenal. Thy Word is a lamp. It is. The light is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path, meaning it's, it's there to show us the way to lighten the path and it is the path that's truest and Beth best, and so I don't know. That's the challenge for you guys today is you're out there is to really dive into God's word and that's why I designed this book. 30 virtues that build a man is it puts men together like us, Steve, just like we're doing today in a conversation around God's word and gives an opportunity for a renewed understanding of things and that's why I love what you're doing, man. I'm just really grateful for the work that you do today for Minnesota adult and teen challenge that works with guys and gals coming out of a life that's very difficult and choices, bad choices that they made into a new world and it's walking them into an enlightened understanding of life by using God's word in hopes that they'll live differently on the other side.

So thanks for the work that you do. Thank you for the work you do too. You Bet. So, guys, I want to encourage you again to pick up a copy of 30 virtues that build a man. Just go to the website today, be resolute.org forward slash 30. Pick it up by it, a, share it with another guy just like Steve and I are doing today. Maybe a, share it with a group of men or share it with your pastor or share it with a son or college student or someone going off in the military to deployments. Great tool for conversations with other guys and with that guys, we will see right back here next time, another edition of mantalk.

 

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